Images from Saturday's IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and SunRisers Hyderabad, in Sharjah.
SunRisers Hyderabad produced a clinical performance with bat and ball to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets and stay alive in the Indian Premier League play-offs race, in Sharjah, on Saturday.
Their bowlers first turned in a disciplined effort to restrict their batting-heavy opponents to a modest 120 for 7, and then their batsmen chased down the target in 14.1 overs.
The victory took the SunRisers to No. 4 in the eight-team standings.
The SunRisers now have 12 points from 13 games and must win their last league game against table-toppers Mumbai Indians to stay in the hunt.
Royal Challenges Bangalore, who needed to win this outing to seal a berth in the play-offs, suffered their third consecutive defeat in the tournament, but retained second place in the table with 14 points from 13 games.
The 121-run target was always going to be a walk in the park for the SunRisers on a small ground like Sharjah, unless they lost early wickets.
The Royal Challengers dismissed SunRisers skipper David Warner (8) early, but that wasn’t enough to make an impact.
Warner paid the price for getting aggressive from the start. He rushed on to a Washington Sundar delivery and hit it straight to mid-on, where Isuru Udana makes no mistake with the catch.
Wriddhiman Saha and Manish Pandey (26 off 19) then shared 50 runs for the second wicket in quick time to take control of the chase.
Some clever spin bowling by Yuzvendra Chahal in the middle overs and an over-cautious approach by the SunRisers batsmen only gave the Royal Challengers hope and delayed the inevitable.
Chahal dismissed Pandey and Saha, and then Kane Williamson (8) was sent back by Udana to give the the Royal Challengers a ray of hope, but West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder played a 10-ball 26-run cameo towards the end to take SunRisers home comfortably.
Earlier, SunRisers Hyderabad’s bowlers did well to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore to a modest 120 for 7.
They bowled tight and struck at regular intervals to deny the Royal Challengers batsmen a chance to settle down and build the innings.
Young Devdutt Padikkal (5) and skipper Virat Kohli (7) departed in quick succession early, falling to Sandeep Sharma (2 for 20). Sandeep has now dismissed Kohli seven times in the IPL.
Kohli was unable to keep his drive down and Kane Williamson, at short extra cover, took a good catch.
AB de Villiers scored a run-a-ball 24 before perishing, and then Josh Philippe (32) again got a start but failed to capitalise on it.
He was caught by Manish Pandey off Rashid Khan (1 for 24) in the next over as Royal Challengers Bangalore slumped to 76 for four in 11.4 overs.
Kohli’s men were done in by some incisive bowling from the SunRisers bowlers upfront, resulting in lack of partnerships, which is the vital for any team to post a decent total.
Their struggle with the bat can be gauged from the fact that they hit only nine boundaries and a six in their entire innings despite having the likes of Padikkal, Kohli, De Villers and Chris Morris in their ranks.
After the early blows, Washington Sundar (21) and Gurkeerat Singh (15 not out) tried to resurrect the innings with a 30-run fifth-wicket stand but they never got the momentum.
Towards the end, both Sundar and Morris departed in quick succession to add misery to the Royal Challengers’ woes.
Holder too did well with the ball for figures of 2 for 27 from his four overs.